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has been starved, the new outshining heat and light of the Lord in His Divine Humanity have been set forth. Seldom has the preaching of new discovered truths been long permittel in temples consecrated to the utterance of old formulas. When it has been allowe'l, as in Manchester it was permitted to John Clowes, there has been an upspringing of the good seed of the Kinglom, but when the loved presence of the Husbanıman has been taken away, how soon have thorns choked the promising growth. One of the favourable external omens for the nascent Church eighteen hundred years ago was its receiving at Antioch a sect-name. As the name Christian was first sectarian then Catholic, so will it be with the name or names which we bear. Others will affirm our sectarianism, we must show our catholicity.
Hitherto, however, we seem to compare unfavourably with the early Christian Church. We lack persistence. During the whole history of Christianity there is scarcely an instance of the Church having once entered into any city from which afterwards its light was even for a short time withdrawn. Yet at this moment there are in the British Isles places which once had open churches, in which there are now no gatherings for worship, and no public declarations of the doctrines of a church which is destined to satisfy the intellectual aspirations of all coining time.
Again, we are assured repeatedly, by the standards of our Church, that the order of Providence has always required and still requires a New Church to be set up, not among the débris of a fallen Church, but among those who relatively to that Church were the Gentiles. Yet all our efforts as yet have been made among those whose minds have already been occupied by so-called Christian thought. That is, we have followed one part of the example set by the early Christian Church, we have begun at the old Church synagogue. We have not yet entered the Gentile market-places. Surely this has not been for want of encouragement from the Writings of the New Church. Neither has it been for want of what may be called providential indications. Africa is now more open than ever she was to all that is connected with the civilization of the Aryan nations. India sent a special message a few years ago, more emphatic far than Paul's vision of a man in Macedonian attire who said “Come over and help us.” In Keshub Chunder Sen we saw evidences of the culture and needs of our fellow-subjects in Southern Asia. In Japan one only needs to be intelligent and English to secure a welcome. The world is lying be
Is not the time come for us to seek to accomplish more than we are now doing?
In short, we are taught that there is but one Church which possesses and consistently teaches Divine truth. Its receivers do not number a million. Others are groping for light, or are contentedly sitting in darkness. Shall we to men benighted, in England, in Scotland, in Ireland, in our dependencies, shall we the lamp of life deny?
Our Swedenborg Society is doing its work, our Mission Societies are hampered by lack of men and of means. But of above eighty British countries we occupy fewer than twenty: Not one single heathen land has been attacked. And yet we have the truth, our Master has commissioned us to offer the world salvation through the remission of sins, and the New Church is, we know, destined to fulfil all that prophets have announced.
THE LORD'S MIRACLES ILLUSTRATIVE RATHER
In the previous paper, on the miracles recorded in the New Testament, we sought to show that the real purpose of the Lord's miracles cannot possibly have been to furnish " the only satisfactory evidence" of His "supernatural mission." If the miracles had been designed for such a purpose, it must be admitted that they were ill-conceived in every essential particular as to method, time, place and circumstances. As to method,-a dozen other, and each more convincing manner of exhibiting supernatural power might easily be thought of. As to time,-many of the Lord's miracles were performed when only very few persons were present to gaze or to be convinced; some were performed in the presence of only His disciples, not one was ever performed in the presence of critical sceptics or mockers. As to pluce,along the wayside, at the gate of Nain, by the grave at Bethany, and not in the midst of the temple, or surrounded by the doubting but shrewd Sanhedrim, were His mighty works wrought; or, as stilling the tempest, or walking on the sea, when with His disciples alone, not when hundreds of witnesses could have confirmed their testimony, or shared their wonder while gazing upon the spectacle. As to circumstances, -Jesus often forbade those whom He had healed to make Him known. It was not till after the once blind man had been put
through an angry and suspicious catechism by the Jews, that Jesus declared to him who it was who had given him sight. Belief was 80 truly the invariable prerequisite to receiving the miraculous blessing of health, as that the body of an unbeliever was never the subject of cure. To some extent, a similar kind of reserve was practised by the Lord prior to His resurrection, as was certainly practised by Him afterwards : He showed Himself, He revealed His power, unto believers, and “not unto the world :" His manifestations of mercy were more truly a recompense than a sign and testimony.
The question needs to be asked, What was the reason which guided the Lord in the character of the miracles which He performed? Why were the miracles of such a sort and no other? All have seen that if we except His cursing the barren fig-tree, every one of the Saviour's miracles were proofs of benevolence, and this even more markedly than they were exhibitions of power. He found poor creatures enslaved by fiends, and He cast the devils out. He found them crippled by various diseases, and He healed them. He found them travel-worn, wearied and hungry, and He bade them rest, and supplied them with food. He assuaged the sorrow of a widowed mother by restoring to her arms her son ; the grief of a despairing father by calling back to life his little daughter; the anguish of loving sisters by bursting the bonds of death from around Lazarus, His friend. He sanctioned human marriage and sanctified marriage festivities by changing water into wine. He rescued His disciples from an impending danger, and taught them adoration as well as trust, by rebuking the tempest. The miracles, of course, exhibited superhuman power; but it was such a power operating for beneficent ends. The benevolence was more conspicuous than the might. All, however, who have studied the story of the miracles must have seen in them even more than proofs of His benevolence. They read like acted parables, just as the parables read like spoken miracles. The miracles are instinct with a deeper than merely literal wisdom, they are the external types of ever-abiding and spiritual operations, and which the Saviour stands pledged and promised to perform for every one who believes in Him and draws near to Him. This, then, is the position to which we come:-“The miracles were intended to illustrate the Lord's enduring work; to represent, in visible and external types, the spiritual operations—which, rightly regarded, are also miraculous and supernatural—which He will continually perform."
This proposition asserts (1) that the Lord's miracles are thus
representative ; (2) that the spiritual operations thereby typified are truly supernatural ; (3) that the spiritual operations thus represented continue to be performed ; and (4) a reason will then be found for the fact that faith in the Saviour was a prerequisite of the external and typical miracle, as it is now a prerequisite of the spiritual miracle ; and, further, why so many of the most remarkable miracles wrought by the Saviour were witnessed only by those who already believed in Him; and, still further, why the Lord's immediate followers possessed and continued to exercise similar supernatural, or miraculous powers. Of course, in this place we can only dwell briefly on each of these topics : sufficient may, however, be advanced to induce our readers to prosecute the line of inquiry.
The Loril's miracles were representative. The common perception of all students of the Gospels has concurred in the conclusion that there is a remarkable analogy between some diseases of the body and some ailments of the soul. This analogy is specially apparent as to some diseases, obscurely apparent as to others, while as to others the analogy needs to be “sought out.” As a type of those in which the synı bolism is manifest, blindness may be cited. All the phenomena connected with natural sight are even marvellously significant of their spiritual equivalınts. Every term in the natural vocabulary can be translated into the vocabulary of spiritual terms.
Subjects of thought.
Blindness. The physiological meaning of each term becomes elevated into a psychological meaning: what applies in one series to the body equally applies in the other series to the inind. This does not arise, as some imagine, from the poverty of language ; but from the perceived and acknowledged correspondence between the functions of the two faculties. Hence, after Jesus had given sight to the man who was born blind, the Pharisees plainly suu the allusion to mental or spiritual blindness conveyed in the Lord's words, "For judgment am I come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they
which see might be made blind." They asked, “ Are we blind also ?" And the whole philosophy of spiritual sight was declared in the Saviour's answer : "If ye were blind, ye should have no sin : but now ye say, 'We see;' therefore your sin remaineth” (John ix. 39-41). The statement, then, that He “opened the eyes of the blind,” or that He “made the blind to see,” declares at once a physical and a typical fact,-a physical fact in regard to those to whom He gave natural sight, a typical fact, for unto all who come unto Him Jesus gives the spiritual ability to see the truth. The prophecy that when God should come as the Redeemer and Saviour of mankind, He would “open the blind eyes,” has this double meaning, and had this twofold fulfilment. The physical miracle was thus a representative of the far more valuable spiritual operation ; and which, besides being far more valuable, is as universal as those that believe. The physical miracle could be wrought on the persons of only a few persons; to them it was only a physical, and therefore a temporary, good; the spiritual miracle can be wrought on all, and the advantage conferred by it is at once incalculable and eternal !
The spiritual meaning of blindness and of its miraculous cure being so evident, we shall be the better able to discern that all other diseases must likewise be representative, and that the healing of them by the Saviour was similarly typical. Who has failed to perceive the manifest symbolism of the healing of the impotent man? Utter inability to discharge the duties of life is the general idea of impotence. That men are really unable to do the will of the Lord until healed by Jesus ; that He is the universal health-giver, the strength-giver to all ; that the healing efficacy of the dispensation which came by “ disposition of angels” was but limited, while Jesus could reach and cure those who had been left unprofited by other dispensations—such are the sweet and solemn truths illustrated by this miracle. Belonging to the same group, and illustrating similar lessons, are the cases of palsy healed by the “ Physician of Souls." They were exemplifications in the bodies of men and women of the divine operations which the Saviour came to effect, and has continued to effect, in the souls of
Every one, again, who has felt the force of the phrase " the leprosy of sin ;" who has perceived how sin when persisted in cases the soul in a crust of death, makes it bear about its own loathsome and ghastly shroud, contaminate and contaminating ; how the disease becomes hereditary, entailing upon a man's descendants a transmitted